HMA v GARY BRADLEY

At the High Court in Edinburgh on 16 February 2015, Lady Rae sentenced Gary Bradley to four years imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to two assault charges.

On sentencing, Lady Rae made the following statement in court: 

“Gary Bradley, this was an appalling unprovoked attack on two innocent members of the public who were acting, essentially, as good Samaritans. 

One, a 43-year-old man, simply tried to stop you pestering a young woman who was clearly disinterested in your drunken and unwanted attentions. In response, you repeatedly assaulted him, including biting him on the head and body. 

The second person was a 64-year-old lady, Mrs Kathleen Hainey, who bravely tried to intervene to stop the fight which had developed between you and Mr Thomas. Not satisfied with biting the man you reacted to Mrs Hainey’s attempts to stop the fight by biting the top of her finger off resulting in operative treatment which led to amputation of part of her finger. 

You say that you were unaware of Mrs Hainey’s presence in all of this and in fact you were again trying to bite Mr Thomas. It is obvious that in your rage and drunken state you just reacted violently without any thought into the consequences of your actions. 

I note that that the social worker who interviewed you has identified that you have anger management issues and it appears that you recognise that. I accept that, while sober, you have expressed and continue to express genuine remorse. I also note that you clearly have the capability to behave appropriately. You are not unintelligent and you have a work ethic. You have also carried out a caring role for your mother and your young son. It is tragic that not only have you seriously injured Mrs Hainey but your actions have resulted in your mother being left without her main carer and your son has had to be put in foster care. 

As you will appreciate there is no option in this case but to impose a custodial sentence. You have a violent record including a High Court sentence of five years for assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment in 2003. You have continued to offend after release from prison although not so seriously. You were, however, on supervision and deferred sentence at the time of these offences and you are now serving a sentence of nine months. 

I am prepared to allow you a full discount of one third. I shall also limit the starting point of the sentence to reflect the fact that I intend to make the sentence consecutive to the sentence you are presently serving and to reflect some of the positive aspects of your background circumstances, particularly your wish to resume care of your child. No doubt if you behave while in custody you may be able to benefit from the early release provisions. 

The starting point for the sentence would have been six years. I shall discount that by one third, namely four years. That sentence will run consecutively to the sentence you are currently serving.”